Steve Melling, Piano
Steve Melling was brought up in Preston, Lancashire, UK and studied at Goldsmiths’ College in London before joining the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. In the late 1970s he began playing professionally when he toured with Harry Beckett and Elton Dean.
In 1986 Steve received the first Pat Smythe Memorial Trust Award, a financial prize for promising young jazz musicians, presented to him by the late Ronnie Scott.
He played keyboards with Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia in 1986-7, and in 1987 and 1989 toured the Far East with the Clark Tracey quintet and made three albums with the band. Steve worked with Tim Whitehead in 1988-9, and played on his album Decision.
Melling has worked for many years with Alan Skidmore and can be heard on his quartet album East To West and on three recordings of a band which combined a jazz quintet and African percussionists and came to be known as Ubizo. Alan invited Steve to play on the title track of his exquisite ballad album After The Rain with Colin Towns’ Mask Symphonic.
During the 1990′s Steve worked and recorded with Claire Martin, Alan Skidmore and Peter King and played regularly at Ronnie Scott’s with these and several other bands and his trio. In 1996 he recorded his own album Trio Duo Solo for the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz House label. In the UK he has played with most major jazz musicians, including concerts with he and Stan Tracey playing two pianos. Steve has also played with many American jazz musicians including concerts with Jazz Machine, a band led by the legendary drummer Elvin Jones. He has also worked with Phil Woods, Benny Golson, James Moody and Charles McPherson. From 1996-98 he was Professor of Jazz Piano at London’s Royal College of Music.
In 2000 Steve joined The New Couriers, a band formed by Martin Drew and Mornington Lockett and made four albums with them. Steve can currently be heard with the Peter King Quartet, his own trio and quartet, and with Special Septet, a band in which Steve shares leadership with long-time friend Clark Tracey.
During 2012 Steve was invited to play with the European Jazz Ensemble, a band which has featured many outstanding musicians from all over Europe since it’s inception in 1976.
Nigel Hitchcock, Alto Saxophone
After leaving school at sixteen, and already a seasoned professional, Nigel walked straight into the London session scene, recording TV jingles, movie soundtracks, pop solos and various other library albums, as he still does today.
In 1989 Nigel joined the contemporary saxophone quartet ‘Itchy Fingers’ and toured Europe and South-East Asia with them. 3 jazz awards, the Schlitz award for rising star, the Cleo Laine Personal Award for best young musician, and the Pat Smythe Trust award (voted for by musicians).
During the 90′s Nigel toured extensively with artists like Tom Jones and Wet,Wet,Wet. He also appeared on TV many times backing artists like James Brown, Robbie Williams and The Spice Girls.
In 2004 Nigel moved to the Isle of Skye and before long began playing with a local band, the Peatbog Faeries. He was soon travelling across Scotland, playing with bagpipes and fiddles in a rock context and other highland bands.
In 2006 Nigel received a commission to compose some classical music for an orchestra in Kazakhstan.
In 2009 Nigel moved to the grounds of an old castle on the river at Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, which gave him the inspiration to continue writing and recording.
Since arriving back in the south in late 2011 Nigel has performed on ‘The Voice’ with the winner Leanne Mitchell’, toured with George Michael, recorded and gigged with Mark Knopfler, and recorded a classical alto sax concerto for Brian Byrne’s ‘Tales From The Walled City’.
Andrew Cleyndert, Bass
His first professional experience was as resident bassist at the George Chisolm Club in Manchester where he backed visiting Jazz soloists including Americans such as Art Farmer and Joe Newman.
On moving to London in 1982 Andrew quickly established himself as a highly versatile player, working with the cream of Uk and visiting musicians – Bobby Wellins, Don Weller, Red Rodney, Bud Shank, Lee Konitz to name but a few.
He toured in the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe with Ronnie Scott, and Cananda and China with Stan Tracey Other tours include working with American piano players Benny Green and most recently James Williams with drumming legend Ed Thigpen, New York saxophonist Jon Gordon, trumpeter Conte Candoli, and guitarists Herb Ellis and Mundel Lowe. He has released two albums as co-leader.
Andrew has taught on various summer schools including the Glamorgan Summer School, The Jazz Academy at the Royal Academy and the Berkshire Jazz Weekend as well as taking further study himself under double bass soloist Tony Haugham.
Miles Levln, Drums
Miles has worked with many established musicians including Paul Dunmall, Soweto Kinch, & Jean Toussaint.
He has performed at numerous music festivals including the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, Marlborough and the London Jazz Festival. Live performances include prestigious venues such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, the 606 Club in London and the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. He has also worked as a musician internationally in the United States and Europe.
As well as working with Steve Melling’s Trio, he has recently been involved in projects and recordings with The Deep Joy Quartet, Steve Tromans Qrt and the Edgar Macias Latin/Jazz Ensemble.
Miles’ studio recordings include the new album ‘Golden Ocean’ with Paul Dunmall and Sophia Domancich. Other recent recordings include ‘Four Moons’, ‘Golden Lake’, ‘Cycles and Stories’ and ‘Foxhunt’.
In 2013 Miles will be working with Peter King Alan Skidmore, Steve Melling & Alec Dankworth as part of a band which both celebrates the work of Elvin Jones, and also remembers the late Martin Drew, who was its original drummer.